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Special Educational Needs
Tuesday 29 March 2022

Our response to the Government’s SEND Review proposals  

The Government has announced new proposals aimed at improving support for children and young people with special educational needs.  

Responding to recommendations in the long-awaited SEND and alternative provision green paper, Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:  

“Autistic pupils struggle to access basic educational rights that many others take for granted – to be able to go to school, learn, feel okay and have opportunities when they leave.  

“Young people and their families have been waiting a long time for the Government to come up with solutions to some of the huge challenges they face and while some of the proposals set out in the review are welcome, others may be ringing alarm bells for parents.  

“Plans to strengthen accountability in the system and provide more support to help young people bridge the gap from education to employment are a positive move to improve outcomes for autistic pupils.  

“However, proposals to introduce a new framework for banding of higher needs support will need to be closely examined. Autistic young people and their needs do not easily fit into a neat box or band. Their needs may change over time for all sorts of reasons. Parents may also be wary about choosing from a ‘pre-approved’ list of schools for their autistic child, rather than looking for a school based on their child’s individual needs. We know that rationing in SEND does not work: failing to meet children’s needs simply leads to a worsening situation that costs more in the long run – and makes life harder for the child, their family and their school.”

“We await further detail about these proposals and are ready to stand with autistic children and young people and their families, ensure their views and experiences are taken into account and if necessary, campaign alongside them to ensure their rights are protected.”